Front Range Community College

Westminster, CO | community college | 30,000+ students

Product: MyLab Math
Course: Developmental Math sequence
Method: Hybrid — required four-hour, in-lab class plus one-hour required, mastery-based lab weekly

Neither instructors nor administrators at Front Range Community College were satisfied with the outcomes they were experiencing via traditional developmental math course delivery methods. They chose to redesign in order to provide students with personalized learning experiences and the freedom to work at their own pace while also receiving more frequent, individualized feedback.

“I did more, the work helped me to be more knowledgeable, and it gave me a boost in confidence.”

—Student, Front Range Community College

How did they use prerequisites?

In Spring 2013, instructors turned a two-semester developmental math course sequence into one course broken into modules. Students begin each module with a pre-test, and everything they do from then on is set up using the prerequisites function in MyLab™ Math. If students don’t pass the pre-test, they must first work through video tutorials, concept checks, and homework assignments before taking a post-test at the end of the module.

Set prerequisites in the course require that students earn a score of at least 75 percent on concept checks and at least 80 percent on homework before moving to the next topic. They are given unlimited attempts at homework and all learning aids are available.

Students must earn at least 75 percent on a proctored, password-protected module post-test in order to progress to the next module.

Students who score less than 75 percent are required to remediate by working in the Study Plan, redoing homework, making test corrections, and meeting with an instructor before they can retake the post-test.

The results

Spring 2013 results showed that 65 percent of students in the redesigned course earned an A or B in the course (0 percent earned a C), compared to 46 percent of students who took the traditional course (22 percent earned a C in the traditional course). In addition, only two percent of students in the redesigned course earned an F, compared to 12 percent in the traditional course (figure 1). Although 65 percent of students in the redesigned classes passed, the remaining students progressed, on average, through 95 percent of the course, illustrating the true advantage of redesign. The overall average progress in the redesigned classes was nearly 40 percent higher than in the traditional, control classes.

Traditional vs redesigned course grade distribution

Figure 1. Comparison of Final Course Grades from Traditional and Redesigned Courses, Spring 2013; Traditional (n=985); Redesign (n=43)

Figure 1. Comparison of Final Course Grades from Traditional and Redesigned Courses, Spring 2013; Traditional (n=985); Redesigned (n=43)

“It was one of the most positive educational experiences I’ve ever had.”

—Student, Front Range Community College